How to Create a Family Tree Bookmark (on Legacy)

Vicki’s note – great Christmas gift idea that can be uniquely made especially by the genealogist in the family – you.  I will have to keep this in mind for next year.  No time this year.  You can adapt the instructions to whatever software you use. 

How to Create a Family Tree Bookmark (on Legacy)

11-20-2008 by

If you are looking for an inexpensive gift idea that the whole family can enjoy, create a family tree bookmark. Using Legacy Charting and a little creativity, your bookmarks will be the talk of the family this year.

(Front – a 3-generation descendancy chart. The background is an aerial photograph of our home.)

(Back – a birthday calendar listing the dates and ages of each member of the family.)

Using Legacy Charting and a word processor, these bookmarks measure 6.5″ x 1.5″. The steps below demonstrate how to duplicate this example, but feel free to get creative.

Step 1 – Add the pictures to Legacy

After collecting and digitizing your family’s “mug shots”, add the pictures to each individual in Legacy. (Watch a video on how to do this by clicking on the Pictures link in this video.) I cropped each picture so they all shared the same dimensions of 161 pixels by 231 pixels. There’s nothing special about those dimensions except that each mug shot is the same size.

Step 2 – Launch Legacy Charting

In Legacy, navigate to the starting person of the desired family and launch Legacy Charting by clicking on the Charting icon in the main toolbar. Click here to see where this button is. If you don’t have this button, either you haven’t yet installed Legacy 7, or the button hasn’t been added to your toolbar. Click here for instructions on adding this button to your toolbar.

Step 3 – Choose the chart type, # of generations, and theme

  • Select the Descendant Standard chart.
  • On the Home tab, change the # of generations to 3.
  • On the Appearance tab, click on the Themes button and double-click on the Mug Shot theme. You should now have a 3-generation descendancy chart with pictures of each individual.

Step 4 – Fine tune the text

  • Because I only want the given names to appear with the picture, on the Appearance tab, click on the Box Items button.
  • Turn off the checkmark next to Life Span.
  • Click on the Name option in the Items to Display section.
  • Then, in the Item Options, change the format to: First.
  • Change the font size to 24.
  • Finally, click on the Italics button in the Settings section. Click OK.

Step 5 – Other fine tuning

  • Turn off the page border by going to the Appearance tab > Borders section and clicking on the Page button. Click on No page border.
  • Turn off the title, also on the Appearance tab, by clicking on the Title button and deselecting the Show Title option.
  • Increase the line size by clicking on the Line button in the Borders section of the Appearance tab. I set the line width to 6 and changed the line color to black. This will help make the lines visible when the chart size is reduced later on for printing.

Step 6 – Add a background

This one’s your choice. You can choose to include a background or not. It can be any of the backgrounds that is included in Legacy Charting, or you can use your own digital picture. To add a background, follow these instructions. In this example, I chose a picture of the house where we grew up. I changed the Display Options to Stretch to Frame and set the Transparency to 25%.

Step 7 – Adjust the sizing

If the picture boxes are too close together, use the Sizing Options button on the Appearance tab to make adjustments. I set the Space option to 1″. The larger the space between pictures, the skinnier the bookmark will eventually be.

Timeout – Create a new theme

Steps 4-7 can be eliminated in the future if right now I take the time to save my fine-tuning as a new theme. On the Appearance tab, click on the Themes button. Click on the Create New Theme link and call it Bookmark. Now, in the future, if you want to quickly create another bookmark, just select this theme.

Step 8 – Export to File

Now that the bookmark is complete, click on the Publish tab, then click on Export to File. I chose to export to TIFF. When you select the Location and File Name, just remember where you are saving it. Click OK. The front of the bookmark is now ready to print. However, my bookmark is still 42.5″ wide by 11″ tall. The next step will take care of this.

Step 9 – Insert the bookmark image into a word processor

Using your favorite word processor (I use Microsoft Word 2007), insert the picture into the document. Using Word 2007, click on the Insert menu and click on the Picture button. Word will automatically resize the picture to fit within the margins. Word tells me that my bookmark is now 6.5″ wide by 1.5″ tall.

Step 10 – Add the birthdays for the back of the bookmark

If you want, you can print the bookmark at this point without adding anything to its back side. To add the birthdays to the back, you’ll need to create a text box of the same size as the picture. But first, press <Control-End> on your keyboard to ensure that the cursor is at the end of the document. Then, press <Control-Enter> to start page 2.

Now, insert a text box. In Word 2007, click on the Insert menu, click on Text Box, and select the first choice. Now, adjust the size of the text box to have the same dimensions as your image.

Now you’ll need to change the text direction. In Word 2007, in the Text section in the upper left, just click on the Text Direction button a couple of times until the text is turned sideways, as is displayed in the bookmark example above. Here, type in the birthdays for everyone in the family. I also typed how old each person will be in the upcoming year.

Finally, I turned off the Text Box’s outline by clicking on the Shape Outline button and choosing a white outline.

Step 11 – Print and laminate

You’re ready to print the bookmarks now. If your printer does not have the ability to print double-sided, just print the first page, refeed the paper into your printer, and print the second page. You’ll just need to experiment with your printer to get the paper turned the right direction. Because both the image and the text box are identical in size, the bookmark should print perfectly, front-and-back.

Print as many as you want. I printed one for each person in the picture. Using a paper cutter (or really straight scissors), cut the bookmark. Take them to a copy store to have them laminated.

Step 12 – Mail

No explanation necessary, I hope…. 🙂

Other ideas

I’m always looking for other creative uses of Legacy Charting. Please share your ideas and successes using the comments section below.




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